Gulf War Syndrome: What Is It and What Can You Do If You're Suffering?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Oct 26, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm were short-lived conflicts that took place between August of 1990 and March of 1991. It was also referred to as the Gulf War. Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, U.S. forces under the authority of the UN forced Iraqi soldiers out of Kuwait and ultimately obtained a cease-fire agreement from Iraq.

Of course, that wasn't the end of the conflict. Over the next decade, conflict and negotiations would continue, leading to a number of military operations culminating in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, what some would refer to as the second Gulf War. These conflicts in the Middle East would have widespread effects, not only on the world, but also on returning soldiers.

The symptoms U.S. soldiers suffered upon returning from the first Gulf War began suffering from chronic health issues that were chronicled and eventually became categorized as Gulf War Syndrome, a term that now stretches to encompass soldiers from several Middle Eastern conflicts, including subsequent deployments to the Middle East.

What is Gulf War Syndrome, and what can be done for soldiers suffering from this illness? Here are a few things you should know.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

My Spouse Was a Servicemember. Am I Entitled to Survivors' Benefits?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Oct 5, 2016 10:00:00 AM

To lose a loved one is always a tragedy. For the spouse or family members of a military servicemember, that tragedy can be compounded by many different factors — whether they died during combat or deployment, after their return, or even years or decades later on.

Family members may be left wondering if they'll have access to any benefits to help them navigate the difficult path after their loved one has died. One of the most common questions we hear is from the spouses of recently deceased servicemembers, wondering if they will be able to access the benefits due after their loved one's service. We have the answer below.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

Can the VA Reduce My Service-Connected Disability Benefits?

Posted by Bennett Gore on Sep 21, 2016 8:00:00 AM

As we've mentioned in earlier blogs about working with the VA, disability payments based on service-connected disability or conditions vary widely depending on the injuries or disabilities that the claim is based on, and also the context and circumstances in which the injuries or disability occurred.

Even after a claim is settled and you begin receiving regular benefits, you may have questions remaining. Some of our clients have contacted us after settlement to ask, "Can the VA reduce my benefits?" Today, we'd like to take a moment to answer the question.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

Traumatic Brain Injury: Get the Facts

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Jul 25, 2016 12:03:26 PM

While traumatic brain injuries may make the national news headlines when it involves beloved NFL players, what's often lost in these news articles is the reality that traumatic brain injuries are shockingly common and have many different causes. These injuries can leave the injured and their loved ones wondering what they can do if they've suffered a traumatic brain injury in their own lives.

Today, we're going to take a few minutes to walk you through TBI, its possible effects, and steps you may be able to take to help your injured family member or loved one in their fight to protect their rights.

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Topics: Worker's Compensation, Veterans Affairs, Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Traumatic Brain Injury

Meet Our VA Attorneys: Clyde "Bennett" Gore

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Jul 8, 2016 3:00:00 PM

For the next couple of weeks, we'll be taking time here at Bluestein Attorneys' blog to do something a little different. It's essential when dealing with sensitive legal issues to get an understanding of the attorneys you're looking to represent you — and nowhere is that more important than in Veterans Affairs Disability claims.

Our VA attorneys have agreed to answer a few questions that will help you get to know them a little bit better, and to understand why they are so passionate about defending and standing up for the rights of military veterans and servicemembers. First up, we'll meet with Clyde Gore.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

Agent Orange: Know the Facts

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Jun 2, 2016 10:25:37 AM

At Bluestein Attorneys, we've worked with military servicemembers of all stripes — those just back from a new deployment, vets who served during the first Gulf War, Korean war veterans, Vietnam veterans... the list goes on. While many Vietnam veterans have heard about the herbicide Agent Orange and its use during their time serving overseas, did you know Korean war vets may also have been exposed? The long-term effects of Agent Orange have only recently been acknowledged and truly understood, and it's important for military veterans who are dealing with hard-to-pinpoint physical issues to know whether or not they may have been exposed during their time in service.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

The Deadly Impact of Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

Posted by Eugene Powell on Mar 23, 2016 2:30:00 PM

When we opened up this new blog, there were a few posts from our old blog that we made sure to hold onto — our series on PTSD and the VA and this post on the impact of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. We hope you'll take the time to read it again, in respect to the Marines and their families exposed to the sometimes fatal water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

PTSD &  the VA Process, Part 3

Posted by Eugene Powell on Feb 10, 2016 11:07:16 AM

2014 marked the centenary of the beginning of World War I. This year, in many parts of the world, commemorative events will be held, marking the 100th anniversary of the start of what was referred to at the time as the Great War. In the history of psychiatry, the First World War is often identified with the first time in history that military Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was officially recognized, then known as "shellshock.” [1] “Shellshock” would undergo a long metamorphosis to emerge in 1980 as “PTSD”.

The VA process for service connection for PTSD has travelled a long and often uncertain road. Let's take a look at how you should present your case to the VA.

Part I Part II Part III

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

PTSD & the VA Process, Part 2

Posted by Eugene Powell on Feb 2, 2016 2:30:54 PM

Mankind’s earliest literature tells us that a significant proportion of military casualties are psychological, and that witnessing death can leave chronic psychological symptoms, known today as service-connected Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

Part I Part II Part III

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

PTSD and the VA Disability Claims Process, Part 1

Posted by Eugene Powell on Jan 26, 2016 2:28:35 PM

As early as 440 B.C., the first case of chronic mental symptoms caused by sudden fright in the battlefield is reported. Found in the account of the Battle of Marathon by Herodotus, it involves a brave man suddenly stricken blind after witnessing the death of the man at his side. [1] In modern warfare, the mental toll of the aftermath of war has had many labels, ranging from World War I (“shell shock”); World War II and Korea (“combat fatigue” or “war neurosis”); to Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan [(post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)].

Part I Part II Part III

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Topics: Veterans Affairs